Goldsmid Tribute at ICT2004

To acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the publication of Goldsmid and Douglas’s seminal paper 1953 paper introducing bismuth telluride as a useful thermoelectric material, the organizers of ICT2004 arranged a tribute to Dr. H. Julian Goldsmid by means of the cover of the book of abstracts (click here for 1 page pdf of Tribute), the ICT2004 website (http://www.its.org/ict2004) and the conference Banquet.

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The abstract still stands today as a succinct summary of key principles for selection of thermoelectric materials, and the paper itself reads well even after 50 years: To acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the publication of Goldsmid and Douglas’s seminal paper 1953 paper introducing bismuth telluride as a useful thermoelectric material, the organizers of ICT2004 arranged a tribute to Dr. H. Julian Goldsmid by means of the cover of the book of abstracts (click here for 1 page pdf of Tribute), the ICT2004 website (http://www.its.org/ict2004) and the conference Banquet.

read more …

The abstract still stands today as a succinct summary of key principles for selection of thermoelectric materials, and the paper itself reads well even after 50 years:

Goldsmid, H. J. and R. W. Douglas (1954). “The use of semiconductors in thermoelectric refrigeration.” British Journal of Applied Physics 5(11): 386.

Abstract:
In the past the possibility of thermoelectric refrigeration has been considered, but all attempts to produce a practical refrigerator have failed owing to lack of suitable thermocouple materials. In this paper it is proposed that semiconductors should be used and the factors governing their selection are discussed. It is concluded that the semiconductors should be chosen with high mean atomic weights and that they should be prepared with thermoelectric powers lying between 200 and 300 microV/oC. Preliminary experiments have led to the production of a thermocouple consisting of bismuth telluride, Bi_2Te_3, and bismuth, capable of maintaining 26 C of cooling.

To cap the tribute, Dr. Jeff Sharp of Marlow Industries read a letter from Raymond Marlow, founder or Marlow Industries in Dallas, Texas. Ray Marlow sent his regrets that he could not attend and present his remarks in person, but Dr. Sharp did Marlow proud by reading the following remarks to the ICT2004 attendees as part of the the conference banquet.

Letter from Ray Marlow read by Jeff Sharp at ICT2004 Banquet in Adelaide, Australia:
<--- Begin Letter -->
TE Society Meeting
July 2004
Australia

Since I could not attend this year’s ICT meeting, I have asked Jeff Sharp to acknowledge for me what Julian Goldsmid has contributed to the thermoelectric profession and this Society.

Throughout the years Julian and many scientists from Marlow Industries have had continuous dialogue. We first had to share our information through the normal postal services. Then we advanced to the old teletype machine, (some of you will remember the machine that poked little holes in a thin piece of paper and was transmitted through the phone service). We progressed then to the fax machine and now – the world has opened up to email and digital pictures. Things happen a lot faster now than they did in the old days.

Back in the early days, real early, I was questioning whether or not to stay in the thermoelectric business. If the material was not going to get any better, then it would be in my better interest to seek another career.

At that time Julian was living in Australia. I called him and asked him to give me an answer to the following question:
“Do you believe that we will ever achieve a material with a ZT greater than ONE?”
Julian said NO, he did not believe we would ever get a ZT greater than one.

I thought about his answer for a minute or so.
Then I said to Julian, “let me rephrase the question. If you had an unlimited bank account, do you believe that we could achieve a ZT greater than ONE?”

There was this dead silence from Julian.
I said “Julian, are you still there?”
He said, “YES, I am still here.”
Then, with a pretty determined voice, he said “YES, I think it can be done. “

With that vote of confidence, that was all I needed to know. I made the decision to hang in there with him and the thermoelectric business.

To this day, I think I made the right decision.

Through all these many years, Julian has not only been a business colleague, but a good personal friend. His wife Joan, and my wife, Elizabeth have developed a warm relationship both from a spiritual viewpoint and also just great friends.

I regret I could not be there in person for this conference, but wanted to give my thanks and gratitude to Julian for all he has provided not only me, but all the employees at Marlow Industries. Again, even though I am not standing there in body, I am in spirit.

Thank you, JULIAN GOLDSMID!!

<--- End Letter -->


I thought that letter summed it up nicely.